Here at Wiesemann Orthodontics, we believe every potential patient should be informed about each step of the treatment process. If you’ve been thinking about taking the first step towards a straighter smile, you probably have a long list of questions about what this journey entails. That’s why our goal is to give you all the information you need about the choices that are available to you! You might be comparing braces vs Invisalign, and wondering which one is right for you. Our expert team is happy to help you find the best treatment for your unique smile. To get you started, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of our two most popular options: traditional braces and Invisalign clear aligners. Keep reading to learn more!
The basics of braces and clear aligners
To understand the specifics of the different appliances we offer, it helps to know a bit about the basics of treatment in general. While braces and aligners look very different, they actually work in much the same way—by putting gentle pressure on the teeth to move them into better positions over time.
Orthodontists have used traditional braces for a very long time, and they have a well-established history of successfully correcting a wide range of orthodontic issues. Invisalign has only been in widespread use for the last couple of decades, but the system has continued to grow in popularity from year to year.
Both of these treatment options can work great for anyone looking to improve their smile, but there are some important differences between them.
All about treatment with braces
Traditional braces consist of metal brackets that have been attached to the front surface of the teeth, then held together by wires and tiny rubber bands. Modern braces are more stylish and comfortable than ever before and they can be especially efficient for treating cases that are more severe or complex.
Every patient responds to braces in their own way, so the treatment time will always vary from case to case. However, the average time spent in braces tends to be anywhere from 18-36 months. Metal braces will often produce slightly noticeable movement of the misaligned teeth within a relatively short period of time. This can give new patients a boost of self-confidence and get them excited about the process, too!
Traditional braces can come with a bit of a learning curve, particularly when it comes to brushing and flossing. Navigating the nooks and crannies created by the wires and brackets can be difficult, but with a little patience, this new dental hygiene routine will become second nature. There are also a variety of accessories available to make things a little easier, like water piks to help rinse those areas that are hard to reach and ortho picks for flossing with braces.
Food restrictions can be one of the more frustrating parts of being a braces patient. Crunchy and sticky foods can damage the brackets and wires, so these need to be avoided until treatment is complete. That means avoiding common snacks while wearing braces, like raw apples and carrots, popcorn, chips, and certain types of candy. Remember, though, that these restrictions are only temporary. They’ll be more than worth it once the braces come off and you see your beautiful new smile!
Patients wearing braces can expect follow-up visits with us every 6-8 weeks or so. During these visits, Dr. Wiesemann will ensure that treatment is progressing as it should be. He’ll also change the bands attached to the brackets and may choose to replace the wire as well. These adjustment appointments are usually pretty quick, but they’re an essential part of the treatment process, so it’s important to keep them.
Information on Invisalign aligners
The Invisalign system uses a series of removable clear aligners to straighten the teeth. They’re made of a smooth plastic material and designed to fit snugly but comfortably over the patient’s own teeth, which means they don’t tend to irritate the gums or cheeks the way some brackets and wires can.
Because Invisalign aligners are removable, they’re extremely easy to maintain!
They’re taken out before eating or drinking anything other than water, so patients don’t need to worry about food getting stuck in between the brackets and wires, reducing the chances of developing tooth decay. They’re also meant to be removed before brushing and flossing, making dental hygiene a much quicker process. Removability also means no food restrictions! Patients can still eat all the same things they usually do while improving their smiles.
Like braces, it’s hard to estimate exactly how long a patient will need to be in aligners since every case is different. The average patient tends to be anywhere from 9-18 months, however. This total will also depend on patient compliance. Those wearing aligners will need to remember to keep them in for at least 20-22 hours every single day and switch them out every 1-2 weeks. This allows the aligners to keep up with the movements the teeth are making. Failure to do so can lead to a longer treatment time andfor less optimal results.
Invisalign patients will also be expected to attend follow-up visits, though they may be slightly more spaced out than those in braces. Skipping appointments or missing scheduled aligner changes can quickly undo any progress made in treatment, so they’re still an important part of any treatment plan!
Find the best fit for your smile at Wiesemann Orthodontics
It’s easy to see that both braces and Invisalign have a lot to offer anyone looking to improve their oral health through orthodontics. When you choose an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Wiesemann, he’ll work with you to determine which treatment option is the best fit for your smile, lifestyle, and goals.
With convenient locations in Bowling Green, Russellville, Portland, and White House, Wiesemann Orthodontics has got your smile needs covered! If you’d like to learn more about how our treatment options can transform your smile, get in touch today to schedule a FREE consultation with Dr. Wiesemann! Our expert team will be happy to help you find the most effective solution for a smile that looks great and feels good, too.